Little Red Writing

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Chronicle  Books
(pub.9.24.2013) 36 pages 

A True Tale with 
A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Joan Holub
           and Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
haracter:  Little Red Writing (a pencil)

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "Once upon a time in pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, 'Today we're going to write a story.' 
     'Yippee!' said the birthday pencil.
     'Slammin'!' said the basketball pencil.
     'Sharp!' said Little Red.
     So begins a hilarious and exuberant retelling of 'Little Red Riding Hood,' in which a brave little red pencil finds her way through the many perils of storytelling, faces a ravenous pencil sharpener (the Wolf 3000) ... and saves the day."

T antalizing taste: 

"Once upon a time in pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, 'Today we're going to write a story!'

[On the blackboard]

1. Idea, characters, setting
2. Trouble
3. Even bigger trouble
4. Fix the trouble 

and something more: Oh! I would have so loved to have used this book, Little Red Writing, when I taught 5th grade writing workshops! It's a story about how to write a story, and the first page sums it up: idea, character, setting, and TROUBLE. I often reminded my students that they needed to write about a conflict, a problem, and not just a list of occurences.  

This book is wonderfully illustrated by Melissa Sweet with her unique, whimsical style. The book has terrific teacher material, and I thought these were fun pencil facts:

"Hymen Lipman received the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil in 1858.

The majority of pencils made in the United States are painted yellow.

Author Roald Dahl used only yellow pencils. He had 6 sharpened pencils ready at the beginning of each day and when all 6 pencils became unusable, he sharpened them again."
Thank you to Chronicle Books for providing me with a copy of this book!


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi there Jeanne! I like Melissa Sweet's picture books, particularly A River of Words. Little Red Writing sounds like a nice fractured fairy story with a twist. Love the metaphors and the layers that can be discussed in the story. Will look out for this one.

Sue Heavenrich said...

This is a book I could have used back in 5th grade!

Roberta said...

Oh, this is too fun, especially the pencil facts.

I like the word "trouble" instead of conflict. Conflict always sounds like it has to be violence or a battle, or something. Trouble is so much more appropriate for children.

Lovely find!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra,
Yes! Melissa Sweet's style is wonderful, isn't it? And yes, the idea is write-on, isn't it?!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Sue, Isn't that the truth? Such a fun idea for a book -- I too would have loved it in 5th grade.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Roberta,

I too have always thought "conflict" was a harsh word and sounded too heavy-duty for children's stories. "Problem" sums it up better. Thanks for stopping by!

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

I have been eagerly awaiting this book - thank you for the sneak peek!

Fun to pair with "The Day The Crayons Quit" perhaps?

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Cathy! I think you'll really like it! I too liked getting a sneak peek! Thanks for stopping by.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

This looks charming.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Tara, Yes, it is charming!